Dear FICIL Members,

May was a busy month for FICIL working actively towards the 21st High Council (HC) meeting with the Government of Latvia. FICIL team is thankful to everyone who contributed to the preparations, position papers, panel discussions and other activities related to the HC meeting. Without your active involvement, the event would not have been possible. This issue of the office report will review the key events of the 21st HC meeting.

21st FICIL High Council meeting with the Government of Latvia, 25-26 May 2017

Our 21st High Council event kicked off as usually with the internal meeting: HC delegates received a preview of the two days, main events and main goals. Since this was already the third HC meeting for the FICIL Honorary Chairman Mr Stephen Oldfield, as the tradition goes, a new Honorary Chairperson was nominated and elected. We are pleased to send a warm welcome to Mrs Charlotte Norrby, the new FICIL’s Honorary Chairperson and look forward to welcome her soon in Riga (you will find her CV here). Our guest speakers for the internal meeting were the Minister for Economy and Deputy Prime Minister Arvils Ašeradens and the Director of Latvian Investment and Development Agency Andris Ozols. Their key area focus was: Why to invest in Latvia?

The second part of the day was devoted to the public panel discussion “Do!”. The three panels represented three of the five topics that FICIL was focusing on this year: Education, Waste Management and Energy policy, Economic crimes. Accordingly, the discussion was split into three parts: 1) “The Universities we will see. The future Latvian universities leaders’ panel”, 2) “The future of Latvian Energy policy in Latvia – re-thinking progress and future opportunities”, 3) “Fighting Economic Crime: from common irresponsibility towards individual accountability”. During the discussion FICIL in collaboration with other experts and policy makers set up a vision on what should be done in future to make Latvia attractive for investors. Panelists discussed measures that require attention in higher education, waste management and energy sector and in the field of fighting economic crime to secure stable investment levels in Latvia and prevent investment decrease in the future. Videos from the panel discussion can be found here.

The main High Council event – the High Council meeting with the Government of Latvia – took place on the 26th of May in the Cabinet of Ministers. During the meeting, the Chairperson of the FICIL Board Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska presented FICIL’s vision regarding the key things to be achieved: main concerns of foreign investors and SMART goals for the future were reviewed (presentation available here). The FICIL’s position papers on Education, Tax, Transport, Waste management and Energy, Economic crimes, as well as the view on Macroeconomic policy were submitted to the Government with an official letter. At the end of the meeting a Communique was signed by the Prime Minister and the Honorary Chairperson of the FICIL setting out the key aims and goals to achieve in the coming year. You will find all the materials, including the position papers and communiqué here. Please do continue to use those documents, share them with your contacts and colleagues talking about our priorities and recommendations. We have also a photo gallery from the High Council events. Photos can be accessed here.

In order to help us evaluate the 21st High Council meeting and improve our future work, we have prepared a feedback form. We would grateful if you take a few minutes to fill in the survey and evaluate the event from organizational side. The survey can be found here.

ACTION: If you found yourself missing a piece of clothing after the FICIL 21st High Council meeting (black male mid-season coat), please do not hesitate to get in touch with the FICIL Office administrator Elva Eglite via email or call +371 29207679.

Follow-up activities from work groups and the Board

  • The FICIL Board will meet to discuss feedback and key outcomes from the 21st HC meeting;
  • FICIL office members will have a delegation of investors from Finland (hosted by LIAA);
  • The leader of the FICIL Construction w/g will represent FICIL at the Ministry of Economy in a meeting regarding amendments in the Construction Law;
  • The Tax work group leaders work with the Ministry of Finance and other social partners on drafting the new tax legislation;
  • The Saeima Committee for European Affairs will review the “Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures and amending Directive 2012/30/EU”. FICIL representative of Insolvency work group will participate;
  • The FICIL Board will meet with the Vice-Commissioner of European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis on 5th of June;
  • Members of the FICIL Transport work group are going to meet with the Vice-President of Latvian Railway Aivars Strakšas and the Board Member of ‘LdzLoģistika’ Verners Lūsis on 19 June at 14:00 (meeting venue: FICIL Office – Strēlnieku iela 1-3). During the meeting FICIL work group will discuss recommendations covered in the position paper on Transport and Logistics Issues.

Hope you find this useful and please do let us know, if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,

FICIL team